Craig Black Fresh

Craig Black

This Glasgow-based designer invigorates his versatile lettering work with personality.

Craig Black

Duration: One year.

Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Education: BFA in visual communications, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, United Kingdom.

Career path: I previously had a career as a professional football (soccer) player. When I was growing up, football was all I thought and cared about. As I was running around the pitch dreaming of scoring the winning goal for Scotland one day, I simultaneously spent my time drawing—football boots, strips and badges. So without realizing it, I was already working on my true passion.

Years later, design became more important to me than football. My typography and lettering designs began with one of my last university projects. I wanted to create craft beer packaging with lettering work as its main emphasis, because I had never previously created anything like that; I always aim to push myself out of my comfort zone. The project opened my eyes to a whole new perspective of typography and lettering and put me on a path of exciting possibilities. This work has led me to collaborating with a diverse range of clients of all business backgrounds and has given me the opportunity to exhibit work across the globe.

Dreams don’t work until you do.”

Favorite project: My collaboration with Slick’s Barbershop in Glasgow—one of my first projects as an independent designer. In the early days, Slick’s was a two-man band with the ambition to become one of the best barbershops in the industry. This mentality rubbed off on me and sparked a continuous collaboration on projects such as branding, interior design and installation work, which helped the company expand from two people to twelve in a short period of time. Slick’s has now become an established, leading force in the United Kingdom and European beauty industry. 

Cultural influences: Scotland is part of my identity, and this has had a subconscious effect on my workThe architecture of its cities, as well as the simplicity and tranquillity of its countryside, has influenced me one way or another. Huge artistic inspirations of mine are the French designer Alexis Taïeb, also known as Tyrsa, Scottish designer Steven Bonner and Spanish designer Alex Trochut. I love their affection towards lettering and typography; they are always so versatile and adaptable to any brief. They create engaging visuals but always reinvent letters in ways that keep their meaning and beauty. These are the fundamentals I believe in.

Approach: My versatility in typographic and lettering work. Whether it’s hand lettering, digital work or even a large scale mural, this versatility gives me flexibility to meet a client’s brief. I always aim to go above and beyond with my work, whether it’s in executing high levels of detail or creating a deeper meaning within a project. This constant challenge has helped me reach a much wider and diverse client base.

Philosophy: Dreams don’t work until you do.


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